1974 Accident Experience with Air Cushion Restraint Systems
An air cushion restraint system has been available to the public on certain model passenger cars since January 1974. In response to this opportunity to obtain field experience, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has established a nationwide reporting network and investigative capability for accidents involving air-bag equipped cars. The reporting criteria for accidents require that the car be towed as a result of the accident, or that a front-seat occupant was injured, or that bag deployment occurred. The principal objective is to obtain the injury-reducing effectiveness of this restraint system in the total accident environment. This environment encompasses “towaway” accidents resulting in bag deployment and non-deployment. Definitive results are expected at the conclusion of the study. This paper summarizes the experience during the first year of the program, during which time the rate of accident occurrence was far less than originally expected.